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Employment Privacy Blog

News, commentary, and legal updates from attorneys in the Data Security and Workplace Privacy Practice Group at Fisher Phillips.
Posts by John T. Lai

On Friday, July 21, users of the “married dating” website, ashleymadison.com, received preliminary approval of an $11.2 million class action settlement.  This settlement seeks to resolve a number of consolidated lawsuits against Avid Life Media, some of which also named the owners and operators of the website.  This settlement will conclude all the civil claims against Avid Life Media and a number of individually named owners and operators of the business arising from the data breach that brought the website to heightened notoriety in 2015.  This $11.2 million class action settlement is separate from the Federal Trade Commission’s $1.6 million settlement with Ruby Corp., Avid’s parent company, which resolved charges that customers had been misled, not only with regard to the retention of private information, but also with regard to alleged fake profiles of female users made to attract new users. 

On May 4, 2016, the White House released a report entitled “Big Data: A Report on Algorithmic Systems, Opportunity, and Civil Rights” to herald its focus on discrimination in “big data” assisted personnel screening algorithms.  While the statement was too vague to inform the public of any new enforcement policy or the degree of sophistication with which such a policy might be enforced or even what institution will bear the burden of remedying the perceived issues, it is clear that the intended scope is expansive.

Tags: Big Data

On August 24, in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp. et al, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that the FTC could enforce its own reasonable interpretation of what cybersecurity standards are necessary to avoid prosecution from the FTC for unfair methods of competition. Reading between the lines, the decision allows the FTC to heighten its enforcement standards without any change in regulations. The ruling is not surprising, given that the court ...

When does an employee’s extramarital activity become his or her employer’s concern? Before the Ashley Madison breach, the answer might as well have been “[almost] never.”

Since the Ashley Madison breach has a sufficient tinge of prurient naughtiness and scandal, the media has given the general public an unusual gift for a cybersecurity breach—ongoing coverage, revealing in unusual detail the repercussions of a data breach. Onlookers can ...

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